I had a better time watching Just Wright than anything else I saw this weekend — and if that doesn’t count for something, I don’t know what does. It restored my faith in the possibility of enjoying a romantic comedy. Is this a formula picture? Sure it is. But this is a good formula movie, and it goes down its structural checklist with a sense of elan, a variation or two, and a freshness in terms of the characters. It helps immensely that Queen Latifah is the star of the film. She lights up the screen with enough presence for two personalities. It’s impossible not to like her. Unfortunately, it’s not always impossible to dislike the movies she’s been in. In this unassuming film, she’s given a pretty square deal for a change. Latifah plays Leslie Wright (hence the title), a woman who has everything going for her — except a relationship, but she’s used to being perceived as “one of the guys.” That changes when she meets NBA star Scott McKnight (Common), but it changes back when he gets a look at her gold-digging best friend (Paula Patton). However, circumstances change thanks to a basketball injury. You can guess the rest, even if not in the details, but it’s the kind of movie that does what you want it do. The characters are likable — and worth liking. There’s good chemistry between Latifah and Common, the direction is stylish, and it’s just plain entertaining.
Director: Sanaa Hamri
Writer: Michael Elliot
Cast: Paula Patton, Queen Latifah, Pam Grier, Common, Mehcad Brooks, Michael Landes, Phylicia Rashad, James Pickens Jr., Ruby Feliciano and Kevin Navayne